Czechs lose Heartbreaker to Russsians04.09.2005 | David Schlegel
The wheels fell off of the Czech team’s proverbial cart late in this final game of the Ceska Pojistovna Cup. In 36th minute Skuhravy put the Czechs ahead but all the effort was spoiled in the last three minutes of the game when Russians replied with two quick goals. The collapse took away 2nd place from the Czechs.Both teams started very cautiously, neither team wanting allow the opponent to score first. The Czech team’s best players were the fourth line of Grosek, Mikeska, and Hubacek. On the Russian side Taratuchin`s first line with Sushinsky was very dangerous. Taratuchin had the biggest scoring chance of the period but could not beat Hnilicka.
The Czechs came into the 2nd period stronger, showing faster, and improved skating. Though they were unable to score; Skuhravy missed an empty net, then Hejda received a brilliant pass from Hlavac. The Czechs had to wait for their first goal until the 36th minute. Skuhravy and Rachunek exchanged passes for sometime, eventually beating Russian goaltender Formichev off the cycle! Russian forward But replied with a good chance on the power-play, however Hnilicka made a remarkable save.
In the 3rd period the Russians team came back much stronger. The Russian top line Sushinsky had its way with the Czech defense, though they didn’t manage to score until the 58th minute of the game. Charitonov beat Hnilicka for the first time on a breakaway. Less than two minutes later Kuryanov took a puck which had laid down on the net from behind and shot it just under the upper bar. This goal would prove to be the game-winner as the Czech team failed to capitalize on its game-ending 8-second power play. The Russians go on to place second in the tournament, the Czechs will settle for third.